Have you noticed that we speak only very rarely of championship or cup but rather of league? Whether it’s the Champions League, League 1 or Premier league.
How did this change take place and is it just a question of vocabulary?
Let us return a few years earlier when we played the 1st Division Championship, the African Cup of Champions Clubs or the cup of European Cup winners.
Until the 1990s, a championship pitted a number of teams in round-trip matches and the team with the highest number of points was declared a champion. On the side of the cuts (whether national or continental), they were competitions with direct elimination matches played on a single match or round trip.
What about today?
The word “championship” has been replaced by the term “league” but in reality little change is to be noted even if some countries have set up systems of “Play-off” at the end of the championship to create uncertainty and thus of the spectacle for the supporters , broadcasters and advertisers.
What has changed the most is the old cuts, which have become leagues. Whether African or European, the Champions League (since 1997 in Africa) has become a mix of cup and championship in the sense that part of the competition takes place in the form of a championship (group stage) and another to be eliminated Direct.
What motivated these changes are, of course, financial reasons, whether it be for clubs, confederations, broadcasters or advertisers. In fact, games with direct elimination, if they guarantee a unique spectacle with strong emotions, have a very high risk for all those actors for whom an early elimination can have serious consequences with regard to the Investments made.
Thus, by guaranteeing a minimum of 6 group matches to the qualified teams, the CAF or UEFA provide them with significant financial benefits. Everyone is satisfied even if the emotion is much less when the stakes of these games are lower. It will be necessary to wait until the end of the group matches to find the suspense of the direct elimination games. In agreement with UEFA, the major European clubs assembled under the banner of the ECA (Association of European clubs), have succeeded in deleting the preliminary rounds for the clubs of the major leagues (Spain, England, Germany, Italy, France…) in order to Further reduce the risk of early elimination by qualifying them directly for the group phases. Thus a place in the first 3 in the large European leagues guarantees a direct qualification in the hens and thus some financial receipts. Knowing the minimum amount of their recipes, these clubs can commit to investments in recruiting players and thus be more efficient.
ASEC Mimosas is advocating for such a reform to be adopted by the CAF for future editions of the Champions League. Thus, the champion of the major African football countries (including Côte d’ivoire) would be immediately qualified for the group phases, without having to go from a preliminary round or the 16th of the finals always very perilous. This would guarantee them substantial revenue and allow them to better prepare this competition with a quality recruitment. Moreover, this would give a higher value to the title of Champion of Côte d’ivoire which, if it does not allow to pocket a substantial premium on the part of the BIF, would allow, to pocket the jackpot paid by the CAF.
Pending this reform and after the good result achieved at Ndola against ZECSO United, it remains for our club to get this 11th group stage qualification on Sunday 18 March 2018 at the Félix Houphouët Boigny Stadium, both for the prestige of our club and for His financial health.